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1 person found this helpful
I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time for more than 8 years
Pros – Able to cultivate excellent relationships with District Managers, Regional Directors, Merchandising Department, HR representatives, Cafe executives, outside company representatives, fellow managers, and booksellers, if so inclined; many opportunities for advancement; very good benefits package as well as perks, such as the discounts and book loan program; consistently worked with well-educated people who were enthusiastic, if not passionate, about books, music, and movies; high energy, always busy environment, despite the staff's casual, calm appearance; customer interaction is more personal as a result of cultivated relationships with fellow book lovers who relish suggestions and anticipate releases .
Cons – Training can be "fly by the seat of one's pants"; Store Managers and District Managers often are erratic in their priorities and goals for each store; due to publishing trends and consumer demand, the "bookstore" now has fewer books than ever and much more games, gift product, bargain, and children's merchandise; although the layout and merchandising are fairly similar store to store (Music Departments, Cafes, bestsellers, etc.), the atmosphere, attitude, and expectations can be wildly different; store management has continually increased demands which takes them off the floor far too often; many managers at the store level are wonderful, while a number of others are highly condescending and disrespectful to the PT and FT non-management staff.
Advice to Senior Management – Approach the work and people with a positive, industrious state of mind. Make an effort to understand the concerns and directives of both home office and the front lines and work to open communication; far too often, representatives and executives from the home office will visit stores and seemingly ignore an employee demonstrating that a planogram is impossible according to scientific law and store level management will not listen to the "suits" expressing fiscal concerns in the competitive market. Importantly, always support the booksellers, music sellers, and cafe servers by 1) training them effectively and instilling confidence, because the current training program is substandard; 2) creating a positive, supportive, transparent work environment in which the store managers are frequently on the floor and interacting with both employees and customers; 3) always treat employees with respect [because they are human beings] and show compassion before judgment-- questioning your own motives and recollecting the training you provided, the nature of your demeanor, and the interactions with each individual.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company
2013-01-14 23:22 PST
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